Real life female CIA agent behind bin Laden raid's life 'more complicated' than portrayed in movie

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 11, 2012 11:21 hrs

The real-life female CIA agent at the center of 'Zero Dark Thirty' is leading a more complicated career than the one portrayed in the movie.

Her CIA career has followed a more problematic script, however, since Osama bin Laden was killed.

The operative, who remains undercover, was passed over for a promotion that many in the CIA thought would be impossible to withhold.

According to the Washington Post, she has sparred with CIA colleagues over credit for the bin Laden mission.

After being given a prestigious award for her work, she sent an e-mail to dozens of other recipients saying they didn't deserve to share her accolades, current and former officials said.

The woman has also come under scrutiny for her contacts with filmmakers and others about the bin Laden mission, part of a broader internal inquiry into the agency's cooperation on the new movie and other projects, former officials said.

Her defenders said that the operative has been treated unfairly, and even her critics acknowledge that her contributions to the bin Laden hunt were crucial.

The female officer, who is in her 30s, is the model for the main character in "Zero Dark Thirty," a film that chronicles the decade-long hunt for the al-Qaeda chief and that critics are describing as an Academy Award front-runner even before its December 19 release, the report said.

The character Maya, which is not the CIA operative's real name, is portrayed as a gifted operative who spent years pursuing her conviction that al-Qaeda's courier network would lead to bin Laden, a conviction that proved correct, it added.

Colleagues said the on-screen depiction captures the woman's dedication and combative temperament.

"She's not Miss Congeniality, but that's not going to find Osama bin Laden," a former CIA associate, who added that the attention from filmmakers sent waves of envy through the agency's ranks said.

"The agency is a funny place, very insular," the former official said, adding: "It's like middle-schoolers with clearances."

The woman is not allowed to talk to journalists, and the CIA declined to answer questions about her, except to stress that the bin Laden mission involved an extensive team.

Members of Congress have also called for investigations into whether classified information was shared. The movie's release was delayed amid criticism that it amounted to a reelection ad for President Barack Obama.

The film's publicity materials say that Maya "is based on a real person," but the filmmakers declined to elaborate.

Officials have said that the woman was given a cash bonus for her work on the bin Laden mission and has since moved on to a new counterterrorism assignment, the report added. (ANI)

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